Monday, June 11, 2007

Foiled Again

This will have to be quick, as a plaintive "Paaaaa-paaaaaa" escaped from underneath my son's door, and the babble is beginning to trickle.

I have officially joined the ranks of the Security Moms, having successfully allowed the Security People to bore holes through my doors and install cat-insensitive motion detectors and very sensitive glass breaks throughout the house. I am now officially ready to accidentally set off my own home security system at any time that is inconvenient to me or my sleeping toddler. Let the fun begin!

And speaking of defenses, I read this awesome article about captchas (see visual above), those wacky little letter/number puzzles that web sites use to authenticate that you are, indeed, a human. Apparently they are getting easier and easier for computers to solve, and harder and harder for humans to solve. Which means that the security mavens have to invent even more interesting ways to tell humans from their malice-seeking technological counterparts.

And, in closing, a remark on the frailty of human perception, brought to you by the letter X:

Yesterday I heard various stories of people cracking up. It seems the coo-coo bird has been hovering ravenous over distant relatives, family friends and old neighbors. And it seems, somehow, whether you describe people as "functioning" paranoids or alcoholics or mourners, "functioning" is really only cushioning that you give yourself to not feel as though people are one step away from falling into the abyss. Because if they are only one step away, are we only two steps, maybe three at most? Enough to give anyone vertigo.

Still, I must think of my alarm here, poised and ready to serve (or perhaps, rather, to swerve?) Safety sounds permanent, but is really an incomplete thought better left unfinished. Too much else interesting going on in the world to be worried about your boundaries, lest you inscribe them too tightly and then there you sit. The abyss-- in a dot.

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